Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taking Chances

So I took a chance last Sunday.

Everyone who is related to me, stop rolling your eyeballs, it wasn't that kind of chance.

The weather on Sunday was iffy.

I looked out of the front door at the weather, and it was raining enough so that I would be rather wet when I arrived at church, so I drove.

Since my first stop is Starbucks, I found that it had stopped raining when I came out with my coffee. I decided to take a chance and change to my motorcycle. Home is on the way to church anyway.

Well, it didn't exactly rain, but there was enough 'sort of rain' and enough spray on the road that my pants were a bit wet when I arrived.

Well, I was taking a chance anyway.

But on another note, I have been thinking about a Darwin Award that I read.

It can be found here.

The story:

Wascally Wabbit
2008 Darwin Award Nominee
Unconfirmed by Darwin

Snowmobiles and alcohol are a dangerous mix. Then came the rabbit.

After a day spent partying and racing snowmobiles in the wilderness, a group of snowmobilers were headed back to their cabin, when up popped a jackrabbit! They gave chase. Several collisions were narrowly averted, and so all the snowmobiles backed off... except one.

This snowmobiler kept his eye on the quarry and rapidly closed in. The rabbit darted aside to save itself. The snowmobiler closed in again. The rabbit ran toward the road, where there was less snow. Trying to ram his rabbit before it crossed the road, the man accelerated to Mach 1.

But the rabbit had other ideas. It darted into the culvert beneath the road. Witnesses stated that the snowmobiler never even braked. There was a metallic crunch as the accelerating vehicle rammed into the culvert, followed by a blast that shattered the snowmobile into a thousand bits.

This brand of snowmobile had a fuel tank mounted in front. The culvert admitted the tip of the snowmobile, then cut into the cowling, spilling fuel over the hot engine. The body of the snowmobiler was blown twenty feet back into the field.

The rabbit's whereabouts was unknown.

One of the things that I remember from Basic Rider Training is "Target Fixation".

I remember because it was a rather fascinating concept - you go where you look (so look through the turn)

It has been explained to be many times by motorcycle training professionals that motorcyclists need to ride their own ride.

The dude on the snowmobile was not riding his own ride, and was fixated on the rabbit, not the path of travel.

Yeah, I know that the rabbit was not on a path anyway, so there was no real path, but the temptation when riding is always rather strong to just follow the person in front of you.

This story kind of makes you think twice about that.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Socks Aren't Squishy

Someday, I am going to remember to post things I "save for later".

This was written on Jan 8th.

Have fun!


So I rode to work today.

I have had a cough that I think was actually pretty serious at the time.

The time being the middle of November.

But I couldn't quite shake the cough, and have not been riding in order to regain my health. I think that the reason that I couldn't shake the cough is because it was quite serious. I felt fine, I just had this cough.

I don't even want to speculate on what I am probably getting over. I just want to enjoy the satisfaction that comes with riding a motorcycle to work, in rather grumpy weather. (It's kind of this, "I conquered it" thing.)

If it rains anymore, I think that I will have to start building an ark and gathering animals, two by two. It has rained that much.

It's actually starting to flood in Washington State, and in the Valley, where I live, we are probably going to be spared flooding, due to the fact that it doesn't actually rain, it just lightly rains.

So anyway, I rode to work today.

I looked at the black clouds, the light rain coming down, and the trees blowing, and decided to pack an extra set of pants and socks because I was going to be pretty wet when I arrived at work. Happy, but wet.

So now, here I sit.

Pretty dry, in fact.

It wasn't as wet as I thought.

Except for an irrational fear that all the air was going to suddenly escape from my tires, the trip to work was pretty uneventful.

Which is the kind of motorcycle trip I like.

Now I just have to make sure that my dad doesn't find out that I rode to work.

He still worries.



Friday, January 2, 2009

A Coughing Fit

So, I haven't been riding lately.

The warmer than usual autumn weather prompted me to not dress as warmly, and now I have a cough that I can't get rid of. I really don't want to aggravate it by being out in the cold, so I have been driving to work.

I must say that I like how my time spent actually getting my vehicle ready to go in the morning is shorter.

I went from 10 minutes to 60 seconds.

On my motorcycle:

1. Walk outside to deck, place helmet, coffee cup and gloves on corner of deck.
2. Pet dog.
3. Walk to motorcycle shed and unlock.
4. Put motorcycle in neutral and back down ramp and into driveway. Try and get enough momentum on the ramp to take you into the turn so that you are perpendicular to the road, while still in the driveway. If not enough momentum is gained, then the motorcycle will have to be pushed back by hand and that sucks, so get those feet a-going.
5. Start motorcycle.
6. Walk to the deck and retrieve the gear.
7. Put gear on motorcycle.
8. Check motorcycle over for road-worthyness.
9. Stop checking motorcycle and throw the frisbee for the dog. It will get rid of him for at least 10 seconds. 15 if you are lucky and he has problems picking it up.
10. Repeat step 9 until shed door closed, motorcycle checked, gear on and coffee cup stowed.
11. Ride to Safeway and get coffee.

In my pickup:

1. Walk outside to deck and driveway, petting dog along the way. Don't worry about the frisbee because he won't have enough time to go get it while you are on your way to the truck.
2. Get into truck.
3. Start truck.
4. Drive to Safeway and get coffee.

I must admit that I like the ease that my pickup was. Just get in it and go.

So our nicer-than-normal autumn weather suddenly turned winter-like in the first weeks of December. You know, snow and everything. That kind of weather usually waits until the new year to present itself, but this year it must have been tired of waiting.

But this morning was the first day that looked like rain, snow and other nasty weather might avoid, so I decided to ride my motorcycle to church.

After about a month and a half of driving (wow, gas bills are high when you do that) I was looking forward to riding my motorcycle.

I must admit, it felt like I was meeting an old friend after a long absence.

I saw three other motorcycles today while out and about.

I think that my first wave was rather over-enthusiastic.

Oh well.